Edge for the enthusiasts
There is an edgy element to this car that enthusiasts will love, such as the rapid-fire paddle-actuated gear shifts, the deep throb from the dual-mode exhaust, the removal of all electronic assistance that accompanies dialling up Race mode, and even the slight engine stumble at idle reminiscent of a race-tuned camshaft. Our performance figures, recorded with two occupants and a full tank, clearly show how responsive and dynamic it is, but equally impressive is braking which measured just 19.1 metres from 80km/h. While the official fuel figure is an appealing 8.2L/100km, we were never near that, averaging 12.2L/100km.
The QV also has selectable chassis control and active suspension to manage its handling and ride quality, although the set-up always remains tightly controlled and a little unsuited to poor back roads. This can cause it to be somewhat fidgety at times and yet at speed on a typically good country road the quick steering, positive turn-in and massive cornering grip recapture the flowing rhythm and silky dynamics of its forebears.
A sharp interior
Of course anyone buying a four-door sedan will still have a modicum of practicality in mind. Up front you settle easily into heated leather seats with eight-way power adjustment, four-way lumbar adjustment, seat cushion extender and driver position memory. The cabin presentation overall is sharply styled, engaging and better finished than previous Alfas, although you do spot the odd cheap plastic fitting. Exposed carbon-fibre interior panels may be purposeful but also look right in a vehicle like this. A start button on the steering wheel and lights that turn with the steering are nice modern touches, while the sculptured steering wheel and twin instrument biennials are modern interpretations of classic 1970s styling. Premium appointments include a 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound theatre and 8.8-inch multimedia screen housing the entertainment system, satellite navigation and climate control.
The QV’s rear seat is shaped for two occupants only and for adults provides acceptable head and leg room. There’s a fixed rear firewall and parcel shelf incorporating child seat anchorage points which enhances body stiffness for better tuning of the handling, but it reduces the load-carrying flexibility and convenience of a split-fold rear seat. The boot is practical, with neat square walls providing a convenient and useable amount of luggage space. It comes equipped with a tyre sealant and inflator kit in lieu of any spare wheel, in part because the 19-inch wheels are different front to rear.
Most European sports sedans have morphed into highly competent but somewhat insulated machines for well-heeled businesspeople. This new Alfa brings back the theatre and colourful interaction with the machine on which the marque was built. While the Veloce is the Giulia that most aficionados will opt for, the Quadrifoglio is the legitimate hero car Alfa desperately needed.
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